10:23 GMT31 May 2020
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    The authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan have said that federal forces are preparing a "major attack" on Kirkuk, a province contested by both Baghdad and Erbil, which has taken part in the referendum despite the backlash from Iraqi authorities.

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — Iraqi Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said via Twitter on Wednesday that the attack is being prepared by Iraqi forces, including Popular Mobilization Units, Shiite militias and federal police.

    ​On September 25, more than 90 percent of voters taking part in the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan backed the region's independence from Baghdad. Iraqi authorities declared the referendum illegal, while Turkey and Iran criticized the vote amid fears that it might strengthen separatist feelings in their own ethnic Kurdish minorities.

    Following the referendum, the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of dismissal of all the Kurdish public sector employees, involved in the vote and sending troops to the disputed areas of Kurdistan, particularly to the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.


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